ASK GASE: My 11-year-old relationship has come to an end

Ask Gase

I have recently decided to end an 11-year-old relationship with my ex because he was cheating on me. We were happy together until last year when he started having an affair. Five years ago I sold him a plot with some developments on it i.e. a 2 ½ roomed house, in Moshupa, where we both work and stay. We have a written agreement to that effect. At the time, he paid only P5, 000-00 of that amount; since then, whenever I bring up the topic he tells me that he has no money and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to settle the debt.

Things started to go wrong in our relationship in May 2023 when he would get calls and text messages in the middle of the night. Later, he would switch off his phone or put it on silent mode. Whenever I quizzed him about it, he’d get angry and had no real explanation for this sudden change in behaviour. He then moved to the plot he had bought from me and I began to see less and less of him. His explanation was that he gets tired from working all day and needs to go straight to his place to rest after a long day. I then saw him at a shop with a lady, looking all cozy and lovey-dovey; they were not aware that I was watching them. After I verified for myself that he is indeed involved with another woman, I told him that it’s better we part ways so that he can be free to do whatever he likes with his love-life. He suggested that we inform our parents about the split. I declined to bring our parents into the matter, explaining to him that it would not be proper because we were not married; we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. He decided to go ahead and inform my parents anyway, telling them that I left him because I had found myself another man…something which is very untrue.

He’s the one who cheated on me, not the other way round. This has caused me countless sleepless nights, wondering why he did this to me after so many years together. I’m deeply religious and I pray to God everyday to give me strength. My parents have now called us to a meeting, which I really do not want to attend; at the same time, I do not want to seem disrespectful. Should I attend this meeting and what do you suggest I do to get this man to pay me the balance he owes for the plot he bought from me five years ago?

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Much as you do not want to drag your parents into this matter, your ex has already involved them and told his side of the story. I suggest you attend the meeting that they (parents) have called, so that you too can get the chance to tell your side of the story and clear your name. Otherwise, they will simply believe whatever he told them. You need to tell your parents exactly what you’ve told me…assuming that it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If it is, as a believer you should know that the Holy Bible says “…the truth shall set you free”.

Tell your parents the truth of what happened, including the sale of the plot and the balance he still owes you, so that they can mediate. It’s a good thing that you two signed an agreement of sale when he bought the plot/house; you should now have him sign an agreement in front of the elders, stating how and when he intends to settle the debt. If the parents’ mediation efforts do not bear any fruit, you can take him to the Customary Court, engage a reputable debt collector, or use other means through which he can be lawfully held accountable and pay the debt. Five years is too long for him still be owing you when he’s in fact enjoying the comfort of your 2 ½ roomed house.

Regarding your split, your parents should not be the ones to decide for you what happens now or in the future; only you can make that decision for yourself after you have thought this through thoroughly. Just tell your side of the story and take advantage of whatever wisdom they impart, without bowing to unnecessary pressure. Whatever the outcome of that meeting, no one should put you under pressure to do or undo anything if you do not want to. It’s your life…and you only have one chance to live it. Do get back to me if no satisfactory ‘way forward’ is reached after the meeting, regarding your relationship with your ex. Being a deeply religious person, you can also seek face-to-face counseling from your pastor and/or from Heart & Hands of Compassion (73 516 022), who offer spiritual counseling in addition to other types of counseling.

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